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William Dalrymple, the Scottish Catholic adventurer, wrote in his book From the Holy Mountain about the modern remnants of Byzantium, the following:John Moschos did what the modern travel writer still does: he wandered the world in search of strange stories and remarkable travellers tales.Note that Dalrymple did not say that travellers go to discover new things, or places, or people. He sets the modern travel writer on a different plane, as one who adventures throu...

The Travel Writer As Intellectual Adventurer

The Travel Writer As Intellectual AdventurerWilliam Dalrymple, the Scottish Catholic adventurer, wrote in his book From the Holy Mountain about the modern remnants of Byzantium, the following:John Moschos did what the modern travel writer still does: he wandered the world in search of strange stories and remarkable travellers tales.Note that Dalrymple did not say that travellers go to discover new things, or places, or people. He sets the modern travel writer on a different plane, as one who adventures through human narrative by means of travel.That is certainly true of the opulent works of Dalrymple, for whom travelling to places is merely a starting point for an intellectual journey through past civilizations and cultures.At his best Dalrymple delivers writings that reveal intellectual continents, through which run his riveting historical and moving personal revelations.When Dalrymple spoke of travel writing and John Moschos, he was referring to an ancient traveller whose footsteps he would retrace in his quest, from Greece through the Levant to Egypt, to find the monasteries and cities that Moschos had previously written about. With John Moschos book, entitled The Spiritual Meadow, in hand Dalrymple journeyed to the ports of Sidon, Tyre, Beirut, Alexandria -- to see what Moschos had seen, or to discover if anything Byzantine was still there in any incarnation at all.A huge gulf of time separated Dalrymple from Moschos and yet in several appealing ways they had much in common.An Oxford graduate from the leisured classes of Scotland, when Dalrymple set out for Byzantium he had already written a best-selling travel book In Xanadu: A Quest. For this he travelled to China while an impecunious student accompanied by relays of girlfriends. He had also written City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi based on an uneasy year he spent in the city with his young artist wife, Olivia. In his much later book White Mughals it would emerge that Dalrymples Anglo-Indian origins were the reason for his fascination with India.Prior to setting out to discover Byzantium, Dalrymple consulted with a veritable slate of geniuses and eccentrics: Sir Steven Runciman, Robert Lacey and Robert Fisk among them. On his Byzantium odyssey Dalrymple started his journey at the monastery of Mount Athos on the Greek mainland in 1994. He began here because he went to see an early Greek manuscript of Moschoss book.John Moschos began his journey from the gates of the great desert monastery of St Theodosius overlooking Bethlehem. The year was 578 A.D., nearly 1500 years before Dalrymple set out from Mount Athos. Moschos was an almost exact contemporary of Mohammed. This wandering Jew of a monk as a biographer of Moschos wrote, travelled with his pupil Sophronius, who in old age would become Patriarch of Jerusalem, and it was left to him to defend the Holy City against the first army of Islam as it swept up from Arabia, conquering all before it.Moschos wanted to see and write about Byzantium when it was under assault. Justinians efforts to re-establish the Roman Empire had failed. Now Byzantium was threatened in the west by Slavs, Goths and Lombards and from the east by desert nomads and the legions of Sassanian Persia.Dalrymple wanted to write about a civilization that is largely forgotten and its remnants growing few and remote from modern life. It is not commonly realized that for 300 years Byzantium was the dominant culture of Eastern Europe and the Levant. It was a distinct cultural era between Rome and Islam, and yet so little of it remains in the Western consciousness, except in Eastern Orthodox religious traditions.Both Dalrymple and Moschos wanted to recover, record and preserve a phase of history most remembered in the adjective Byzantine or faintly remembered from the portraits in mosaic of Justinian and Theodora at Ravenna.John Moschos and his companion ended their journey in Constantinople where he wrote his book. It was hailed as the masterpiece of Byzantine "travel writing" even then and in a generation or two was translated into several languages. "William Dalrymple" ended his journey in Egypt and sojourned in the home of a friend in Somerset, England where he wrote his book. With From the Holy Mountain Dalrymple came of age as a writer. Some would say it was his greatest work. Today Dalrymple the family man divides his time between a farm outside Delhi, London and Edinburgh.With From the Holy Mountain he did what he wanted to do. I wanted to see wherever possible what Moschos and Sophronius had seen, to sleep in the same monasteries, to pray under the same frescoes and mosaics, to discover what was left, and to witness what was in effect the last ebbing twilight of Byzantium.

Finding A Hotel While In Costa Blanca, Spain

Finding A Hotel While In Costa Blanca, Spain

You will need to make arrangements to stay in an Alicante hotel if you plan to stay in the area. Alicante has many hotels ranging from small to the larger resort style hotels. The following should be considered when planning your stay and searching for a hotel. The best way to get a good rate on your hotel is to begin your search early. The internet offers a lot of information on hotels and rates, or a travel agent may be able to help you find a lower rate. This is especially so if you book your flight and hotel at the same time. Of course, compare vacation packages with multiple agents to ensure you are getting the best rate available. Another option is to call the hotel yourself. Calling directly may get you a better rate particularly for the smaller, local hotels. Hotels sometimes have specials that are not online. Generally, though, you should compare all rates obtained regardless of whether the rate was offered by a travel agent, online travel site or the hotel itself. It is important to consider where exactly you want to stay during your vacation in Alicante. There are hotels in a variety of locations, such as downtown or in the harbour areas. The harbor area is great for sightseeing. Many hotels are located along the beach, and may offer a view of the harbour. Where you plan to spend the majority of your time is the most influential factor in what hotel is best for your vacation. For example, there are many things to do in the downtown area. Hotels in the downtown area are located near shops, restaurants and great sightseeing. An advantage is that you can travel easily without a car if you stay in the downtown area. The type of hotel you prefer is another factor to consider in your decision. Larger, luxury hotels offer more amenities than smaller hotels. They typically offer swimming pools, spas, twenty-four hour room service, weight rooms, dry cleaning services and on-premise restaurants and bars. They are, expectedly, more expensive as well, and your budget is another thing to consider when planning your vacation. If you are taking a short trip, you may want to splurge somewhat on a larger, luxury hotel. How long you are staying is also important to consider, since obviously the longer you stay the higher the cost of a hotel. A longer stay may be best spent in a less expensive hotel if your budget is restricted somewhat. This will leave more money for sightseeing and shopping.

A Sivory Punta Cana Dominican Republic Review

A Sivory Punta Cana Dominican Republic Review

The Sivory Punta Cana Reviews almost caused us to cancel our vacation We chose The Sivory Punta Cana Dominica Republic, despite the bad reviews because there were also some good reviews, and in the end we think it justified its boast that it was one of the best small luxury resorts in the Caribbean, one of the real Caribbean Hideaways.The road to the Sivory Punta Cana is pretty bumpy and the taxi fare isnt cheap, somewhere between $60-$80 depending on whether you use a taxi or a van, although having said that it was really only the last few milesWe stayed in a deluxe junior suite with a plunge pool, which extremely well laid out and furnished. It had all the usual smellies in what was an awesome bathroom. It had a giant tub, a two person shower, which I had always wanted to try!!The hotel grounds were beautifully landscaped and maintained, and there was a superb spa and gym. We liked the pool, and the pool area, but feel it necessary to point out one or two things that stops the Sivory Punta Cana from being one of the best small luxury resorts in the Caribbean.Firstly the food isnt that fantastic, although there are items that arent on the menu that they will make, but only if you ask. The menu is limited, and the items like lobster are in fact extremely good, but very pricey.This may be a good reason for taking the all inclusive option, because not only can you have the better items, your drinks are of course also included. Add to this the fact that room service is free on all inclusive.It is important to understand that if you are paying for individual items, there is a 26% tax to add to the price. On a $12 pina colada, this makes it $16!!Whilst the minibar is free, and it contains beer coke and water, they wont replenish it unless you ask, and you are wasting your time asking the housekeeping staff..Check your final bill carefully, because we had items added we didnt have. For instance our transport didnt appear when we went home, and we had to pay a taxi, b ut it was already an item on my bill!!Finally if you like lots of action then The Sivory Punta Cana isnt the place for you. There is nothing to do here, its miles from anywhere, and it has no nightclub, so just relax and unwind.We thankfully ignored the The Sivory Punta Cana reviews, we had a great time, the staff were wonderful, it is a great Caribbean hideaway, and with a bit of care it could be one of the leading small luxury resorts in the Caribbean.

Discover Cape Cod New England

Discover Cape Cod New England

Cape Cod is a narrow peninsula that stretches seventy miles out into the Atlantic Ocean. It is connected to the mainland by a pair of bridges that span the canals. Cape Cod is approximately one and a half hours drive from Boston. There are many quaint seaside villages and harbours here, fresh water lakes, and miles of beautiful scenic beaches!The climate of Cape Cod is mild, making it a great holiday destination all year round. Typically, the sea remains warm enough to swim in right up until the middle of autumn. Cape Cod along with the islands of Nantucket and Marthas Vineyard have miles of beautiful beaches. Most beaches are open to the public, however there are some beaches that require season permits.The islands of Cape Cod are readily accessible from the peninsula, and are great destinations for day trips. These islands were some of the first colonies formed by the English, and started out as whaling or trading posts. Now these islands are some of the wealthiest regions, with vast estates owned by some of the richest families in the country.Cape Cod is one of the few places that the North Atlantic Right Whale can still be found, as they are one of the most endangered species on the planet. What better way to see one on your holiday than taking a whale watching cruise!The Olde Kings Highway has been named one of the most scenic roads in the US. It runs the length of the Cape, and has many great boutiques, antique shops, and craft shops located up and down it.Cape Cod features some of the best fresh seafood in the whole of New England, from clam chowder to fine fresh lobster, be sure to sample them at one of the many restaurants on the Cape!All in all Cape Cod makes a great destination for your holiday to New England!

Visiting Dallas? 5 Places You Should Visit

Dallas, Texas is the second largest city in Texas, only trailing Houston. Dallas is a wonderful place to visit, because it offers a wide variety of different attractions that are sure to spark the interest of everyone. When visiting Dallas the 5 places you should visit are the Ballpark at Arlington, Six Flags over Texas, Dealey Plaza, the West End, and the Dallas Arboretum.The Ballpark at Arlington is home to the Texas Rangers, and also a very brilliant architectural piece. If it is baseball season, then take in a Rangers game, because you will never forget the excitement that you will feel in that stadium. If it is not baseball season, then take a tour of the stadium and enjoy the brilliant architecture and history of the city that awaits you around every corner.Six Flags over Texas is a wonderful amusement park that has thrilling rides, amazing shows, and tasty treats. The entrance fee is fairly pricey, but once inside you can ride all of the rides and see all of the shows for free.Dealey Plaza was created as a grand entrance to Dallas, but now is known as the place where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. No matter if you are a history buff or not, you will definitely enjoy sitting on the Grassy Knoll, or visiting the museum in the School Book Depository.After visiting Dealey Plaza you should venture out into the rest of The West End. The West End is a very popular destination in Dallas that has over 80 shops and 40 restaurants for your shopping and dining pleasure, as well as many other historical monuments and museums.Once you are finished running all around the city, you should make a stop at the Dallas Arboretum. The Dallas Arboretum is a very large garden area located on the shores of White Rock Lake. This is a great place to sit down, relax, and have a picnic.

Ten Things To Do During A Holiday In Greece

Greece, birthplace of the Olympics, is also a center civilization and knowledge from ancient times. That glorious tradition lives on today in the countrys modern culture. Each year more than fifteen million people vacation in Greece to experience the vibrant cities, the scenic countryside and the sun-soaked islands. If you would like to be one of them, here is a guide to help you discover Greece. 1. Any Greece vacation should begin with a trip to the Acropolis. It is the symbol of the nation so it is only polite of you to stop in and leave your card. At noon, you can stroll around the majestic Parthenon. When the sun goes down, be sure to watch the light show depicting the legends of the Olympic Gods. 2. Explore the ruins of Agora. Travel down the hill where the towering Acropolis stands, and into the valley where the philosophers Socrates and Plato did all their thinking. While there, you can hardly miss the looming temple built for Hephaestos.3. Take a helicopter trip around Athens. Just hop a copter from your hotel and spend an exhilarating half hour swooping over the citys major landmarks. Be sure to bring your camera!4. Take in a match of the Hellenic National league, and finally see what they call football and we call soccer. This is a good chance to take in modern Greek culture and see what people worship, now that the Olympic Gods are out of style. 5. Compete in the marathon that begot all marathons. Or, at least, try the route that the Olympic athletes ran the last time they were in town. Just remember not to drop dead upon finishing. 6. Make your trip to Greece a volunteer vacation. There are a lot of noble causes you can devote yourself to while visiting. Each summer, hundreds of volunteers help the organization monitor the nesting period of Greeces Sea Turtles. You could also apply your carpentry, teaching or medical skills for good causes. 7. Tour the Greeces Archaeological Museum. Greece is where history was invented, so of course the artifacts are unparalleled. Be sure to see the Mask of Agamemnon, once believed to be the death mask of the ancient king. 8. Take a hike through the Vindos Gorge. On a hot day, descent into the worlds deepest canyon can be rough going, but youll find yourself cooling off the farther down you go. When you get to the bottom, you will find plant species like no others on earth. 9. Sun yourself on the beaches of Crete and experience what other Europeans have known about for decades. The scenery is so beautiful, you cant help but relax; during the day, that is. Come night, get ready to party at the islands infamous clubs. 10. Experience the Rockwave Festival of music. For three days, you can have your choice of three stages: heavy metal, rock n roll, or good old fashioned dance music. A great balance to Greeces otherwise educational attractions.

Summary

William Dalrymple, the Scottish Catholic adventurer, wrote in his book From the Holy Mountain about the modern remnants of Byzantium, the following:John Moschos did what the modern travel writer still does: he wandered the world in search of strange stories and remarkable travellers tales.Note that Dalrymple did not say that travellers go to discover new things, or places, or people. He sets the modern travel writer on a different plane, as one who adventures throu...